New Toyota Toy Car: 86

By Arv Voss, May 13th, 2017

Toyota and Subaru joined forces three years ago to develop a pair of formidable, yet affordable sports coupes. The result was a most capable sports coupe that was extremely fun to drive under the guise of two distinctive marques.

Manufacturer photo: The former Scion FR-S adopts a new "Toyota 86" identity used in other global markets, as the Scion sports car transitions to the Toyota brand
Manufacturer photo: The former Scion FR-S adopts a new "Toyota 86" identity used in other global markets, as the Scion sports car transitions to the Toyota brand

The Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ are nearly identical in terms of design and mechanical composition. The Scion brand name has gone away, and what was once the Scion FR-S is now labeled the Toyota 86.

We'll deal here with the 2017 Toyota 86. Power is still delivered to the rear-wheels through either a six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission with Sport mode, paddle shifters, and Dynamic Rev Management.

The power source continues as an FA2O 2.0-liter, 16-valve, horizontally-opposed flat "Boxer" four-cylinder engine with D4-S (direct and sequential port injection) that cranks out 200 horses at 7,000 rpm, while developing 151 lb.-ft. of torque in a range from 6,400 to 6,600 rpm in automatic-transmission-equipped 86s or 205 hp and 156 lb.-ft. for models with the six-speed manual gearbox. Premium fuel is required.

Despite its powerful 100 horsepower per liter, the 86 delivers an estimated EPA rating of 24 mpg in city droving and 32 mpg on the highway with the six-speed manual transmission.

Manufacturer photo: The former Scion FR-S adopts a new "Toyota 86" identity used in other global markets, as the Scion sports car transitions to the Toyota brand

Acceleration is most impressive, as are the precise handling characteristics. The ride quality is comfortable, but exceptionally firm for the sake of stability.

The 86 tips the scale at 2,758 pounds with the manual and 2,806 with the automatic. Weight is kept to a minimum by the implementation of an aluminum hood, a solid roof, and by a trunk rather than a hatch design.

The low weight is complemented by dynamically tuned suspension componentry consisting of MacPherson struts forward and a double wishbone setup aft. Positive steering feel is provided by electronic power steering and the 86 rides on lightweight 17x7-inch alloy wheels. Ventilated disc brakes are standard at all four corners. Experienced performance driving enthusiasts will appreciate the vehicle stability control and traction control systems, which may be set in a combination of five configurations.

In terms of its stunning exterior visual appeal, the 86 reflects its inner power -- its aerodynamic profile was inspired by the iconic (and now extremely rare and highly collectible) Toyota 2000GT, with a low, sleek roofline that directs airflow cleanly and efficiently over the gracefully curved cabin. The stance is low and the face delivers a menacing competitive look with its sharp expressive lines and forms, such as the wide lower intake and angular headlight assembly that houses projector-beam headlamps.

The interior features 2+2 seating with deeply bolstered, supportive, and comfortable seats up front, with a rear seatback that folds flat for added versatility and functionality. A large, center-mounted tachometer is the focal point of the three-gauge main cluster that also features a programmable shift indicator, allowing the driver to set rev limits in 100-rpm increments beginning at 2,000 rpm. Both digital and analog gauges measure speed. The three-spoke steering wheel both tilts and telescopes and wears the new 86 model designation.

Manufacturer photo: The former Scion FR-S adopts a new "Toyota 86" identity used in other global markets, as the Scion sports car transitions to the Toyota brand

My test 2017 Toyota 86 sport coupe featured an exterior finish of Ablaze Red and a black interior. The base sticker was set at $26,375, which came to $32,881 after adding a host of TRD (Toyota Racing Development) goodies and other options.

Considering the starting price point of the 2017 Toyota 86 sports coupe along with its performance credentials, it continues to be a winner, with enhanced tuning and freshened appearance to match. It serves up an attractive and appealing design, with harmonious and well-balanced lines and contours, evoking a bold, athletic image even when parked.

The 2+2 sport coupe delivers fun in spades under normal driving conditions or on a racecourse with an almost unbelievably affordable starting price. Add to that, Toyota's warranty program structure along with their reputation for reliability and the 86 is a no-brainer for the 2+2 sports coupe set.

Specifications

Base price $26,375 (as tested: $32,881)
Curb weight 2,758 lbs.
Displacement 2.0-liter
Engine type 16-valve 4-cyl. Boxer w/DSPFI
Epa mileage rating 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 13.2 gal.
Horsepower (net) 205 at 7000 rpm
Overall length 166.7 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 156 at 6400 rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual
Vehicle type 4-passenger RWD compact coupe

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